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What Exactly is the US Doing in Syria?
International

What Exactly is the US Doing in Syria?

The Russian Foreign Ministry has questioned the effectiveness of the US-led yearlong air campaign in Syria, saying it is unclear “why the results of so many combat sorties are so insignificant”. Failing to curb IS, the US has now “adjusted” its program.
“We have very few specifics which could explain what the US is exactly doing in Syria and why the results of so many combat sorties are so insignificant,” Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov told Russian channel NTV.
“With, as far as I know, 25,000 sorties they [US-led air campaign] could have smashed the entire [country of] Syria into smithereens,” he said.
Lavrov questioned the western coalition’s objectives in their air campaign, stressing that Washington must decide whether its aim is to eliminate the terrorists or to use extremist forces to pursue its own political agenda.
“Maybe their stated goal is not entirely sincere? Maybe it is regime change?” Lavrov said, as he expressed doubts that weapons and munitions supplied by the US to the so-called “moderate Syrian opposition” will end up in terrorists’ hands.
“I want to be honest, we barely have any doubt that at least a considerable part of these weapons will fall into the terrorists’ hands,” Lavrov said.
“We do not want the events, when [some countries] not only cooperated with terrorists but plainly relied on them, to happen again.”
Lavrov recalled that the French, for instance, supplied weapons to anti-government forces in Libya in violation of a UN Security Council resolution.
Speaking about the American refusal to answer Russia’s calls to create a wider anti-ISIS coalition, Lavrov suggested that US reluctance is based on a number of “factors and causes”.
“It is probably not very nice [for them] to see how effective[ly] our military is working compared to the more than a yearlong operations [of] the coalition created by the United States of America, which has carried out, in my estimates, about 60,000 sorties, half of which were supposed to be fighting missions, yet the positive results ‘on the ground’ are not visible,” Lavrov said.

  Offensive in Aleppo
Syria’s Army will soon launch a ground attack supported by Russian airstrikes against insurgents in the Aleppo area, two senior regional officials told Reuters on Tuesday.
Control of Aleppo city and the surrounding province in the area near the Turkish border is divided among the Syrian government, insurgent groups fighting Assad and the Islamic State group that controls some rural areas near the city.
“The big battle preparations in that area are clear,” said one of the officials familiar with the plans.
The offensive, which both officials said would begin soon, would expand on a ground attack by the same alliance last week that is targeting militants in Hama province farther west.
In an audio message on Tuesday, Islamic State, which controls large swathes of Syria and Iraq, urged Muslims to launch a “holy war” against Russians and Americans.
“Islamic youth everywhere, ignite jihad against the Russians and the Americans in their crusaders’ war against Muslims,” said Islamic State spokesman Abu Mohammad al-Adnani.

 

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